Home Tour: Blair Stocker of Wise Craft

Sheri Reed | Jan 12, 2010 Home & Garden

  • Meet Blair Stocker

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    Blair Stocker

    Blair Stocker of Wise Craft

    Meet Blair Stocker of the blog Wise Craft. Blair is also a crafter, brand consultant, chocolate brand owner, and WAHM to two kids.

    Today, Blair gives us a Show & Tell Home Tour inside her house in Seattle, Washington.

    Come on inside...

  • Meet the family

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    Blair Stocker family

    Blair and the family

    Blair, tell us a little about your family and your home.

    My husband Peter and I have lived in Seattle, Washington for 13 years, and we have 2 children, Emma, 11, and Ian, 8, and a beloved cat named Gracie. We moved into the house we live in now in 2002. This house gave us much-needed room, both inside and out, and was completely redesigned by the previous owners (yay! no remodel necessary, I thought, as I looked down at Ian, who at that time was the speediest crawler on the planet!).

    The house has the perfect layout for a young family, open gathering spaces and private areas all nicely mixed. Peter and I have a brand consulting business, Story Trading, and a line of chocolate bars, Komforte Chockolates, and both businesses are run out of our home.

  • Come on inside...

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    entry way antlers

    Th antlers, made by Blair's father-in-law, hang in the entry way. The "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster went up after their house was broken into a few years ago.

    Home is my absolute favorite place to be!

    It's frenetic, crazy busy, and full of energy most days, and we've learned that this is what works for us for now.

    The flexibility of being able to be here with the kids after school, to structure our days around being with them really can't be matched. One day we may feel too squeezed and may need to move our business out of our home, but for now, I find some comfort in us all being here together, working and living.

  • Decorating style

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    front room

    The front room of our house, which we tried to keep picked up and tidy, is also a nice place to sit with a book when there's time.

    How do you approach decorating in your home? What's the most important thing?

    The house itself is a Craftsman style, but I would say our decorating style is a mix of everything really, which is what we prefer.

    We have combined pieces we've bought secondhand, ones saved for and bought new, and hand-me-down pieces, which have been redone and mixed into our space over and over.

  • Bring in color

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    mantle vases

    The mirror above the mantle was one I made for Peter when we were dating. The mantle displays my collection of second-hand vases mixed with Jonathan Adler ones I've received as gifts.

    Our home is kind of a mish-mosh, but we try to bring some cohesion to it through color.

    Most of the year in the Pacific Northwest is a bit dark, and bright shots of color here and there make us all smile.

     

  • Kids stuff

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    kid slippers

    Kids slippers

    You have two children. How does their STUFF influence the look and feel of your home?

    We are an artistic family, and we do incorporate the kid's artwork on the walls along with everyone else's.

    However, I remember as a kid there always being definite defined "public" and "private" spaces ("don't go in the living room!"). While I don't adhere to that sort of thinking as an adult, it does influence me, and we try to keep the front of the house (our "public" space) free of toys and clutter.

  • Tidy is important

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    basket storage art supplies

    These baskets contain small games, markers, and crayons, all sorts of random things really. They keep me sane! The complete set of Childcraft books were found secondhand.

    Tidy is important to me (this is not yet important to my kids!).

    We do have a family room at the back of the house that's usually play central, where the kids can spread out, play Legos, whatever they want. Because I love to sew, I've added fabric baskets in there for storage, as well as other types of baskets (which make me feel instantly calm for some reason) so that there's a definite place to put the toys, and it's also nice to look at.

    I am here at home so much, and it really keeps me from thinking clearly if the house is cluttered and untidy. I'm not obsessive about it, but I try hard to stay on top of it.

  • Emma's bedroom

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    girl's bedroom

    Emma's sanctuary. Her quilt was one of my 2009 big sewing projects.

    We tend to let the kids add things to their rooms as they wish. The older they get, the more I realize that they have things important to them that may not totally match my aesthetic, but really, does it matter?

    My daughter Emma is constantly putting things up on the wall. It's always fun to peek at what's new.

  • Ian's bedroom

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    boy's bedroom

    Ian's bedroom and collections.

    I like seeing what the kids decide to hang up or put in a special place.

    My son Ian is also a collector, and we just let the collections go as long as we can stand it.

  • The gathering place

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    family room chair cabinet

    This room really is a sea of patchwork right now. I like the bright colors in here, and the contrast it has from our front room.

    In which room in your home does your family congregate most often?

    The kitchen or in the family room at the back of the house.

    When our house was remodeled (right before we moved in), they added on the back family room (and our master bedroom), and I couldn't imagine the house without that extra space.

  • DIY projects

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    shelving wall

    I have collections of things everywhere. A minimalist I'm not!

    Great design can be expensive. How do you get the most bang for your buck?

    We love great design but do not spend a lot of money on great design. Often for us, the challenge is to make something secondhand look new and great.

    I am constantly scouting out secondhand shops, and we've gotten lucky a few times. The challenge is to see a secondhand piece and in your mind, take it to the next level, and then actually go home and do it! There is a lot of satisfaction in those kinds of projects for us.

  • Family room

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    boy reading

    Family relaxing with pillows and quilts I've sewn makes me very happy!

    In our family room, we play Wii, board games, hang out. I made a large beanbag for that room over a year ago; it's the most popular kid seat in the house.

    The kitchen is open to the family room and even though we have a dining room, we rarely use it. The large island in the kitchen is everyone's preferred space for meals, homework, art projects, even sometimes client meetings.

  • Master bedroom makeover

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    gnome lamp dresser

    Peter bought me that gnome lamp from Urban Outfitters to be funny — I really like it though!

    Tell us about a DIY project you have taken on recently and love.

    Last summer, we finally paid some much-needed attention to our master bedroom, and I really love being in there now.

    We painted the room a soft, pale gray, found a mid-century dresser for storage, painted some of the wood pieces already in there a slightly deeper gray than the walls, and hung some new artwork.

  • DIY bedroom sanctuary

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    quilt bedroom

    I made the quilt, Melissa gave me the faux bois vase I keep at my bedside, artwork on the wall are 3191 pairings. This is a very calming spot for me.

    I made the quilt we use a few years ago, and the yellow blanket is this amazing soft wool. I found it for $6 and came home and washed it up; now it's just perfect.

    We did not spend much money at all to freshen up this bedroom space, but I love every inch of this room. It feels like a sanctuary.

  • Treehouse view

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    windows

    The treehouse view from the master bedroom windows.

    Sitting in bed, looking out the windows, all you see are trees and evergreens. It feels like we're in a treehouse.

  • Room of one's own

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    work desk window

    This is where I work. Many an idea has come to me staring out that window. (White sprig coffee cup made by Diana Fayt)

    You're a WAHM and a crafter. Do you have a room or space of your own? Tell us about it.

    I have a room on the main floor of the house that serves as a sewing studio and a work space for me (Peter has a spacious office set up in our basement). My studio is absolutely perfect for my needs at this point in our lives. It's where I keep my fabric, sewing machine, cutting table, craft accessories, as well as work files and computer.

    My desk stretches across one entire wall (an IKEA wood countertop). I made simple curtains underneath it out of Denyse Schmidt home dec weight fabric to hide all the storage bins and cords underneath.

  • Inspiration board

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    bulletin board

    A linen-covered corkboard that I pin up tear sheets and inspirational images, things that make me happy!

    I try to keep my work space super organized (not always easy, there's so much stuff!) because it's part of our living space.

    Having that space just for me really sparks my creativity. I love it in there.

  • Everyday rituals

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    kids ice cream maker

    The main floor of the house is pretty open, not a lot of walls, and the kitchen is the center of it all.

    What is your most important everyday ritual at home?

    Our family works best when we have a rhythm to our daily lives. I think my kids find comfort in the routines we've created for them.

    I insist that we all eat dinner together in some form every night we can. Now, sometimes that might be nothing fancy, but at 6pm, we all sit down together.

    We have a routine of coming home after school, sharing a snack. Afterwards kids retreat to their own spaces to do homework or just unwind from school. That's a nice part of the day for me.

  • Chores

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    bathroom framed pictures

    A glimpse into our master bathroom — the fashion illustrations were done by Peter's grandmother.

    What household chore do you hate? What household chore do you love?

    I absolutely can't stand to fold laundry! Why is that? I'm sad to say that often the chair in our bedroom has a pile of freshly dried clothes on it, waiting to be folded. I really need to have my kids take a little more of this laundry stuff on.

    For whatever reason, I really don't mind scrubbing bathrooms. (Which is a good thing, cause they need scrubbing often!) I have a system from beginning to end, and it feels nurturing to clean that space, put out clean towels, wipe down all the surfaces. It always smells so good.

     

  • Small indulgences

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    art figurines

    In our main floor bathroom. The artwork was a gift from Lisa Congdon, and those little wooden animals were picked up a thrift store, chess pieces perhaps?

    In your home, what is one indulgence you give into?

    The one indulgence we allow ourselves is a good candle. Peter and I are all about good scents, and there is nothing worse than smelling a cheap candle. One of us will bring one home, and we'll discuss, "Hmm, that's nice" or "Wow, it smells like really strong soap!"

    I really do love Mrs. Meyers basil-scented candles these days, and they last a long time, which is nice.

  • Blair's favorite home stores

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    cat

    Gracie, the family cat

    What are your favorite stores to shop for home?

    Urban Outfitters usually has something interesting for not too much money, but most often it's more fun to find a hidden gem at a thrift store and bring it home.

  • Blair's favorite blogs & websites

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    owl nesting dolls

    Emma made these clay owl nesting dolls for me. I love how they stand out in our white bathroom.

    What Home & Garden blogs or websites inspire you the most?

    Sitting in bed on Sunday evenings with my laptop, I read Design Sponge, The SelbyRemodelista, and anything that those lead me to. I've recently been enjoying Desire to Inspire. I love looking at images of inspiring spaces.

    Thanks so much for the fun home tour, Blair! It's been great to get tips and ideas from a fellow WAHM.

    For more from Blair Stocker, visit her lovely blog Wise Craft.

    Visit all the Show & Tell Home Tours on CafeMom.

     

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